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Taking on your tax return

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Thursday December 9, 2010 at 4:45pm

If you have registered to file your tax return online, then you only have until January 31st 2011 to do so. Missed deadlines will result in a £100 fine, so it’s worth making sure you file on time.

Here are our top tops for taking in the dreaded tax return:

Preparation is everything: Before you start filling in your tax return, you need to get all your records together and make sure that they’re in order. If you’re doing it yourself, it will make your life easier, and if you’re handing it over to an accountant, it will cut down costs.

Knowing what you can claim for: There are various deductions, reliefs and allowances that may reduce your tax bill. In most instances, these are valid for the current tax year and for the previous four years. Allowable expenditure usually falls into two different types: capital expenditure: for example, buying a van, computer and office and business expenditure: any expense that "wholly and exclusively" goes towards keeping your business going.

Your taxable profits will be worked out by deducting the full amount of allowable business expenditure from your business income. The HMRC published full guidance on this here.

Completing your return: gather all your paperwork together, the documents and information you will need include:

  • Your employment income, including your P60 and P11D 
  • Any interest statements from your bank or building society
  • Information on dividends and shares 
  • Details of any deductions such as pension contributions and Gift Aid

You can complete the online form in stages, although there has been some recent negative publicity about the HMRC system locking people out if they try and make more than two lots of changes. Oh the wonders of technology!

Our course if you have appointed an accountant they will worry about most of this for you, but that first stage of getting all the relevant information together is a vital one.

Andy Parker
Chartered Accountant, Birmingham

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Parker Chartered Accountants and Financial Advisors is the trading name for Parker Business Development Ltd (Registered No. 4116664), Parker Tax and Trust Ltd (Registered No. 06950353) and Parker Financial Planning LLP (Registered No. OC347027). Parker Financial Planning LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. All companies are registered in England and Wales – registered office contact details here